( AFP ) - Russia's decision to suspend its adherence to a Cold War treaty limiting military forces in Europe as of December 12 is "a mistake", a senior US State Department official said Friday in Spain.
" Russia has made a mistake in this unilateral behaviour of walking out of a major arms control treaty in Europe," US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told a news conference at an OSCE meeting in Madrid.
"It is not the right way to work, so we call on the Russian Federation to reconsider this decision, not to suspend its implementation of the CFE treaty on the 12th of December, and to come back to the negotiating table," he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Friday that suspended Russia's compliance with the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, the Kremlin said, amid objections from the EU and the United States.
Signed by NATO and states of the defunct Warsaw Pact, the treaty places strict limits on the deployment of tanks and other military hardware across Europe.
Russia ratified an updated CFE treaty in 2004, but the United States and other NATO members have refused to follow, arguing Moscow must first withdraw forces from Georgia and Moldova.